Made in India T-shirts for Euro 2008 fans
This small hosiery town is not exactly soccer crazy. But some of its knitwear workers are busy working overtime for Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
The T-shirts they are rolling out will be sported by millions of European football fans during the matches.
"Already 100,000 cotton T-shirts have been despatched for the cup," declares C Udhay Shankar, managing director of Sree Santhosh Garments Pvt Ltd, which has bagged the prestigious order from a Britain-based company.
Now 400,000 more are being made and will be sent by November.
The polo neck T-shirts come in four different colours and designs. Brightly dyed in white, black, navy blue and pink, they have pictures of the cup and of two hands holding the cup aloft, the schedule of the match finals and the flags of host nations.
And, of course, they will have the 'Made in India' labels.
"We made the polyester blended shirts for the World Cup football matches too," Uday Shankar told IANS.
Incidentally, he and most of his 1,000 odd workers are cricket fans but they are all elated at weaving India's connection with football's Euro 2008.
His company's meteoric rise in the hosiery business epitomises Tirupur's growth as the country's knitwear capital of India and one of the largest foreign exchange earners.
In 1986, when Uday Shankar and his elder brother C Chandramohan lost their jobs in a spinning mill, they started their own knitwear factory, with a meagre investment of Rs 100,000 and just four workers. Today the two brothers, both school dropouts, own a well-equipped spinning mill, dyeing and tailoring units and their company notched a turnover of Rs.966 million in the last fiscal.
"Our quality and pricing have helped us come this far," smiles Udhay Shankar.
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